There is only ONE Oklahoma

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blame Canada!

Funny how perception can change when the ‘worm turns’. It was just a few short days ago, some of the more vocal Sadler fans were very adamant concerning the ‘flood of open wheelers’, and more importantly, the lack of experience many of these drivers have at the Cup level.

Quotes such as:

“I feel that no one, and I mean no one, should be able to come into the Cup series without a minimum of 10 starts in the truck or busch series.”

“I think any open wheeler, and like need to do some races in arca, truck, busch before jumping to cup.”

“…all drivers should start at the bottom and work their way up -- even if they're Indy or F1 champions, they still need to start way down in the ranks for stock cars and come up the good ol'-fashioned way. No one deserves a free pass to the elite level of any sport, just because they succeeded at something similar.”

“This guy had no business being on the track for the first time at Talladega of all places. There are plenty of Busch drivers out there that would have loved the chance to race but no, they have to go and get this guy.”

To be honest, these quotes do have merit and make some good points to a degree, but precedent has been set in cases like this many times over. For example, Robbie Gordon’s first Nascar start was a Daytona 500 race; with zero ‘lower series’ starts. I mentioned before that A.J. Foyt never raced a ‘lower series’ race in his career either. Just a few years ago very similar things were being said about the influx of the 'Young Gun' invasion. The simple fact that drivers from other race series are flocking to get Cup rides might tell people that the state of Nascar is really not as bad off as some want to think.

Flash forward just a couple of days with the announcement that Patrick Carpentier will drive full time for Gillett Evernham Motorsports but for some strange reason the quotes and opinions above have been forgotten. Remember, Carpentier only has THREE road course starts, and only one at the CUP level. Even if he raced every BUSCH race left on the schedule, he would not have enough starts to make the ‘ten race minimum’. But like using the Jedi mind trick, 'These are not the quotes you are searching for.... Move along.'

Then there is this quote:

“We have so many young talented drivers in the Busch series that would love a shot at a seat in cup, yet we continue to fill the seats with those from outside, so tell me again what the point of Busch Racing is?”

Interesting question considering when one looks at the current Busch points standings and count on one hand, the drivers who are not attempting to run full time at the Cup level. So I am not sure what this Sadler fan’s definition of ‘many’ truly is.

While the details of the Carpentier signing have not been very specific, it does raise a few questions and has made for some interesting internal situations at GEM. First there is the Ray Evernham quote that, "No one has told me that Patrick Carpentier is the official driver of the No. 10 car next season….Until George Gillett tells me that ... I have not signed a contract or any contract as of yet”. I don’t claim to know the org chart at GEM, but I understand that Ray no longer owns the ‘majority’ of this race team, and most likely his blessing or even knowledge of this deal is not needed.

No sponsor has been announced but chances are Carpentier will draw much attention and will be a sponsorship bonanza, especially to someone in the Great White North. I would say someone like Molson would jump at the opportunity, but I’m thinking Budweiser might frown upon that.

Then there is the dilemma of which team should get the owner points for the first six races in ’08. From a business stand point, it might be prudent to move the 19’s owner points to Carpentier, forcing a more seasoned and pretty good qualifier in Sadler to qualify his way in. If the team as a whole is where they should be, this really should be a non-issue for Sadler. Needless to say, much of this decision maybe made or at least influenced by whom ever sponsors Carpentier.

So from the greatness of South Park, why not just BLAME CANADA!!!!
After all, it will be a perfect catch all excuse for GEM in ’08 if things are not living up to expectations. I use it all the time when my TPS reports are suffering. Just Sayin.


Anonymous said...

I fear you are correct and Elliott's points will be given to Carpentier...but how would Ray/George justify that to Dodge/UAW? They wouldn't even dare to try that crap with Budweiser so why should Dodge be willing to let the points go? As a sponsor, I'd be pissed if my car suddenly had to qualify on time to make room for someone new. Or do you think Dodge will sponsor Patrick and Elliott will get the Valvoline sponsorship? Seems odd to have an American automaker who relys on the catch phrase "Buy American" to sponsor a Canadian (not like that's a "foreigner", but I picture more good ol' boys like Elliott driving their Hemis than the fine folks up north with their expensive gas).

I can't wait to see what next week's press conference brings. But I'm willing to bet Elliott will be the one getting the screw job!

RevJim said...

I thought that Carpentier was going to the 10. Are they planning on putting Carpentier in the 19 and Sadler in the 10, then? I haven't seen anything about this.
That would be screwsome. Carpentier should have to prove that he is a better driver than ESad, or is GEM saying that they have confidence that Sadler can get the #10 team back into the top 35.
This season has really sucked for Dodge.
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Anonymous said...

revjim, Every article says that Carpentier is going to drive for GEM, but even Ray said on a Sirius interview that no decision has been made on which car or sponsor. Many are saying that, not having been in one of these cars except for Watkins Glen, there is no way Patrick can qualify and isn't even approved for Daytona yet. Kind of makes you wonder, if there's no decision on car, what other purpose would that serve except to give him points to start off the year.

BTW, brilliant move, Ray, sending Elliott out of his pits last night when Sauter was right there. Way to screw up a chance for a good race. (of course it didn't help that Elliott tagged the wall later).

Anonymous said...

Why is it that its never Sadler fault when things go bad. Case in point at Dega last week, Sadler is leading on a restart and allows himself to get hung out, thus forcing him to the rear of the lead draft. 10 laps later the big one happens and Sadler is caught up in it.

But its always Rays fault, the Crew Chief's fault or another driver's fault, but the driver gets a free pass. Just another reason why Sadler fans are not taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

It was Ray's fault that he told Elliott to go when Sauter was right there on pit road. Just as it was Zippy's fault when Tony hit all the cars he hit on pit road. The drivers can't turn their heads to look for themselves and all rely on their crew chiefs or spotters for leaving the pits. It was his fault when he hit the wall, but by then he was 2 laps down.

As far as Talldega, he was trying to get away from Sauter who was driving like an idiot and got hung out. Yeah, his fault, but at the time it seemed like a good idea to get away from what seemed to be an accident in the making. The Sadler fans I know complain about Elliott's whining and bitching when warranted (we post on the NOL board since none of us belong to the "fan club" so come chat with us there and you'll see we don't give Elliott a free pass), but Saturday night's pit road mishap was all on Ray and he admitted such.

Chris said...

He was trying to get away from sauter and then got hung out? There is a leap of logic!

I don't think Brett ever came close to saying..."Elliott, you need to go ahead and drive away from the 70, he is acting like an idiot. I know its a plate track, but just pull yourself right away from him, go ahead and get hung out, so you can be back in the pack when the next big one happens."

Is this is the logic of the NOL boards? You are better off just becoming a 'true fan' and paying the 25 bucks for the Fan Club.

Snafam said...

"We have so many young talented drivers in the Busch series that would love a shot at a seat in cup"

So, what talented drivers in the Busch series? I look at the Busch points list, and most of them are Cup drivers!

Anonymous said...

Chris, I'm sure the intent wasn't to get hung out, but that was what happened. I'm sure Tony wasn't intending to get hung out at the end of the race either but sometimes that happens. The idiot comment was made later...but either way, running in the back helped him avoid the Bobby Labonte mess (except for JV tagging him under caution). There were a lot of guys running toward the front that got messed up on that one.

Thanks, but I'll pass on the fan club offer...I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid. I'm objective enough to call him out when he deserves it; he took the blame and apologized to his guys when he hit the wall, just as I'm sure we'll all hear Ray taking blame for the pit incident Tuesday on Sirius.